People watching is an enjoyable activity that many tourists do while in Tokyo since there are literally millions of different things to see at once. Not only can you admire the various fashion styles and trends but you can also get a glimpse of the different shopping bags and labels that float around in each area.
There are many different people watching areas in the city but there are four in particular where you can get a wide variety of fashion and shopping hints, with each one being different from the last.
Everyone knows this spot, it’s virtually in every movie and reference to Tokyo. Shibuya Hachiko Exit is a prime spot to people watch since that’s pretty much the main entrance and exit of Shibuya station and right by the world famous scramble crossing.
While some people would say sitting up high in the Starbucks above scramble crossing would be the best spot, getting a seat close to the window is near impossible, not to mention the fact that you’re so high up, it’s very difficult to see the fashion styles in detail.
Shinjuku Studio Alta
Like Hachiko, Studio Alta is another packed area that will definitely give you a glimpse into the fashion styles of the youth, and even some from the older generation who are usually the ones passing through on their way to the izakaya and karaoke places after work. Located outside Shinjuku’s East Exit (or Kabukicho Exit), you can easily people watch several thousand people at any given moment in the evenings and especially on the weekends.
Certainly a lesser-known area for people watching, Shinagawa station is the prime spot for incredible sights of business people. Every evening from about 6 or 7pm, you will be able to see a wave of business people in their black suits. Since the Starbucks in the station is on the second level, you can comfortably sit up high and watch the people rush through the station to catch their evening train.
While you won’t get too many variations in Tokyo fashion here, you will definitely be able to pick out the people who are not dressed for business, because they stand out like a sore thumb (ie. red sweater among black suits).
Certainly a great place for photography!
Harajuku Takeshita Dori
Another incredibly famous district for Tokyo fashion, Takeshita street is the place to see fashion styles and eclectic shops that the younger crowd love. Starting from Harajuku station’s Takeshita Exit, you can stand at the top of the street (which is where most take photos) and try to spot some Lolita dressed in their best.
Best time to head out for Lolita and Cosplay fashion samples is Sunday afternoon… but really, the street is always full of people.